Before 2023, it was always a safe bet that many of the year’s top-grossing films would be action movies. Last year, even blockbuster sequels like Fast X and Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One failed to cover their massive budgets and don’t get us started on the lackluster superhero flicks that did their best to sink the entire genre.
Hollywood needs a reset, and we’ve been craving cinematic excitement ourselves. That’s why we’re looking ahead at the 10 most anticipated action movies of 2024. If these films can’t be hits, then Hollywood will be in serious trouble.
10. The Beekeeper
Jason Statham has been starring in action movies for over two decades, and he’s not slowing down any time soon. Statham’s most prominent flick this year, The Beekeeper, is actually just around the corner. But in the context of this film, Beekeepers is the name of a secretive spy organization.
Mr. Clay (Statham) is an ex-beekeeper who has retired from the game in the hope of having a more peaceful life. That lasts only until Mr. Clay discovers that his friend and neighbor was driven to commit suicide by some nefarious characters. And Mr. Clay can’t abide that, which is why he’s going to do what most of Statham’s characters have done before: Keep kicking butt until all of the bad guys are dead.
The Beekeeper will hit theaters on January 12.
Who cares if Henry Cavill has a bad haircut in Argylle? If we could deal with Cavill’s ridiculous facial hair in Mission: Impossible – Fallout, then his hair shouldn’t be a problem here. Besides, Cavill’s Agent Argylle isn’t even real; he’s just the fictional spy created by best-selling writer Elly Conway (Bryce Dallas Howard).
While on her latest book tour, Elly is approached by an actual spy, Aiden Wilde (Sam Rockwell). Aiden warns Elly that her novels are a little too close to reality. Now that multiple espionage organizations want to know how Elly is getting her intel, it’s Aiden’s job to get her, and her cat, to safety. Director Matthew Vaughn has assembled a pretty great cast for this action comedy, including Bryan Cranston, Catherine O’Hara, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cena, Rob Delaney, and Rebel Moon‘s Sofia Boutella.
Argylle will hit theaters on February 2.
8. The Fall Guy
The vast majority of moviegoers are probably not even aware that The Fall Guy was a TV series in the ’80s. But after Barbie was such a massive hit last year, this action comedy could be a real test of Ryan Gosling’s star power. Gosling is stepping into the role of Colt Seavers, who was portrayed by Lee Majors on the show as a stuntman who moonlights as a bounty hunter.
In the movie, Colt is a veteran stuntman who has been hired to work on an action film that is being directed by his ex-girlfriend, Jody Moreno (Oppenheimer‘s Emily Blunt). When the star of the movie, Tom Ryder (Aaron Taylor Johnson), goes missing, Colt agrees to find him before the movie can be shut down for good.
The Fall Guy will hit theaters on May 3.
7. Road House
A mere 35 years after the original Road House hit theaters, Jake Gyllenhaal is going the full Patrick Swayze in Prime Video’s Road House remake. In a nod to the times, Gyllenhaal’s Elwood Dalton is an ex-UFC fighter. As you can see in the pic above, Gyllenhaal really went the extra mile while training for this film.
Plot details for the remake are scarce, but if it follows the original’s plotline, Dalton will have to defend the local roadhouse bar from an unscrupulous criminal who wants to seize control of it by any means. The Suicide Squad‘s Daniela Melchior co-stars as Dalton’s love interest, Ellie, while the rest of the cast includes Billy Magnussen, Jessica Williams, Darren Barnet, and even an actual UFC fighter: Conor McGregor.
Road House will hit Prime Video on March 21.
6. Gladiator 2
You’ll have to excuse us for running a picture from Gladiator here because we haven’t seen any pics from Gladiator 2 yet. Russell Crowe’s Maximus died at the end of the original film, but his legacy lives on in the sequel through Lucius Verus (Paul Mescal), who now stands revealed as the secret son of Maximus himself.
Gladiator 2 picks up 15 years after the first movie, with Lucius estranged from his mother and removed from Roman society. Presumably events will conspire to put Lucius in chains and make him fight in the arena just as his father did. Connie Nielsen is reprising her role as Lucius’ mother, Lucilla, while Denzel Washington is playing a former slave who has a vendetta against Rome’s co-emperors: Caracalla (Joseph Quinn) and Geta (Fred Hechinger). The first Gladiator took home Oscars for Best Actor and Best Picture, so this one has a lot to live up to. Here’s hoping it can be a worthy sequel.
Gladiator 2 will hit theaters on November 22.
5. Bad Boys 4
Considering that the post-credits scene of Bad Boys For Life hinted that Jacob Scipio’s Armando Aretas would get a chance to redeem himself in the sequel, it’s shocking that Scipio is not among the announced cast members for Bad Boys 4. Naturally, Will Smith and Martin Lawrence are back for the fourth time as Detective Lieutenants Michael Eugene Lowrey and Marcus Miles Burnett, respectively. Also returning are Vanessa Hudgens as Kelly, Alexander Ludwig as Dorn, and Paola Núñez as Lieutenant Rita Secada.
At the moment no plot details have been revealed, but Better Call Saul standout Rhea Seehorn has a supporting role in the sequel, and the villain will be played by Eric Dane.
Bad Boys 4 will hit theaters on June 14.
4. Alien: Romulus
The Alien franchise could use fresh blood after the last two lackluster sequels. That’s why it’s encouraging that Evil Dead and Don’t Breathe director Fede Álvarez is bringing the chills to Alien: Romulus. The original Alien was essentially a horror movie in space, and Álvarez excels at horror.
That said, James Cameron’s Aliens is one of the all-time great action movies, so there will hopefully be something comparable in this movie as well. It’s hard to judge a film when there hasn’t yet been a trailer. But if anyone can bring back the action and horror to this franchise, it’s Álvarez.
Alien: Romulus will hit theaters on August 16.
The John Wick movies have never let us down, so we have high hopes for the first-ever theatrical spinoff in the franchise: Ballerina. Blonde star Ana de Armas is going to get her action movie wings as Rooney, the previously unnamed ballerina who was played by a different actress (pictured above) in John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum.
Keanu Reeves will reprise his role as John Wick (which clearly means that this takes place before John Wick: Chapter 4), and it’s John’s fault that Rooney’s life has been ruined. John went to The Director (Anjelica Huston) for help in the third movie, and the High Table slaughtered Rooney’s family in retribution for their aid. Now, Rooney is going to pull off a Jane Wick and embark on a bloody campaign of revenge on the men who wronged her.
Ballerina will hit theaters on June 7.
2. Deadpool 3
Everyone tends to agree that the first team-up between Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Ryan Reynolds’s Deadpool landed with a disappointing thud in X-Men Origins: Wolverine. Later this year, the apology tour begins when Deadpool 3 finally gives fans the R-rated action comedy that the MCU desperately needs right now.
One of the few things that we know about this sequel is that it will drop these two refugees from the 20th Century Fox X-Men-related films directly into the Marvel Cinematic Universe…and they won’t be the only ones. Jennifer Garner is reportedly back as Elektra, and there will be some other surprise returns as well.
Deadpool 3 will hit theaters on July 26.
1. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
In George Miller we trust. One of the best action directors of the ’80s hasn’t lost a step now that he’s 78 years old. Mad Max: Fury Road had just about everything you could ask for from an action movie, and it blew away Miller’s contemporaries and the modern crop of directors. After seeing that, it’s almost impossible not to be pumped for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.
Anya Taylor-Joy isn’t known for starring in action flicks, but this movie could do for her what Fury Road did for Charlize Theron. The setup is pretty simple. Young Furiosa (Taylor-Joy) has been taken from her home against her will and enslaved by Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). And if she ever wants to get home again, Furiosa will have to reinvent herself as a warrior and survive a war in the Wasteland. As far as we know, Mad Max will not be in this film. But if this movie can deliver the way that Fury Road did nine years ago, then Furiosa will be the action film to beat in 2024.
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will hit theaters on May 24.